The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is a newspaper and newspapers in their current form aren’t going to last too much longer. Even the New York Times now has more Twitter followers then subscribers. That means that if you love the Post-Gazette like I do, you should be encouraged not enraged by their recent actions. Yes, they have put up a pay-wall. Yes, they have gotten more in to blogs and let more of their national and international reporting slip to the AP and others. If it keeps the Post-Gazette alive, it will have been well worth it.
The latest idea out of the Post-Gazette may be their most brilliant though, Daily Deals. That’s right, the Post-Gazette is going toe to toe with Groupon. They are attacking a profitable area of the web where they actually have a distinct advantage, and I love it. I have said before (in criticism of Groupon) that daily deals need to be part of a larger company’s portfolio of advertising options, well that’s exactly what they are to the PG. They can leverage relationships with existing small businesses to instantly have customers for this new media. In theory, they could also post daily deals in the newspaper with a number to call to redeem. That would potentially expose an entire generation of thrifty people without email and web access to the program. I don’t get a print version, so I don’t know whether this is happening or not… perhaps one of you could enlighten me?